Well there are some pretty big bets being placed on the future of the automobile in the United States. Today, our government has insisted upon very high CAFÉ standards meaning that cars will have to get significant miles per gallon ratings, in fact it will be mandatory that they get 54.5 miles to the gallon within the next two decades. This means the cars will be made out of lighter weight material, or much smaller, and that indeed opens the door for low-budget cars with very small motors made in China and imported here, and don’t think will be able to keep them out with some sort of protectionist act via it union lobbyists in Washington DC.
Why do I say that you ask? It’s simple, General Motors is selling a ton of cars in China, and if we close our markets off, they’ll cut China out of the picture, not to mention the fact that a good number of the components that used to be made here the United States are made in China, and they are being put into our cars made here. Now then, since the Chinese auto dealerships are coming here, one could ask; how well will these cars made in China sell in the United States? Well, they should sell quite well – do you remember the Honda Car? They sold like hot cakes, and they got incredible mileage.
Also note that Warren Buffett has invested in BYD Motors a Chinese car manufacturer, and Warren Buffett doesn’t do anything for his health when it comes to his money. You can bet those cars will be sold here, and they should sell pretty well if China is able to maintain its reputation for selling quality automobiles. Still, what if these cars made in China are tainted with a poor reputation before they even get here? That is quite possible. Further, China isn’t necessarily batting a 1000 when it comes to safe products.
For instance, consider the lead based paint in toys, the poison pet food, the chemical laden drywall, or the protein problems in livestock feed there as they send those canned products into our market. Still, it gets worse, and if you think that the Chinese cars will come here without any problems or safety issues, or health hazards you might be mistaken. Let me give you a case in point.
There was an interesting article the Wall Street Journal on August 16, 2012 titled “Asbestos in Chinese Cars Australia Recalls 23,000 Vehicles, Setting Back an Industry Eager to Export,” by Gavin Lower. This is quite problematic as more and more Americans are keeping their cars for longer, car interiors get quite hot, and those materials come apart over time. In other words it’s not very funny, it could kill a good number of Americans, and it could cost a pretty penny for all the cancer treatments trying to save these individuals, which is problematic considering the government is paying for anyone who can’t afford health insurance.
Therefore, I am quite concerned. I’m not against competition, and I believe the US automakers need competition, and I am upset about the crony capitalism and the bailout of Detroit. Nevertheless, if we’re going to have overregulation here, which I’m not in favor of, then we darn well better be sure that we don’t allow imported cars which come with health risks. That’s just unacceptable.
In the past some of Detroit’s cars have been somewhat defective, and contained lots of planned obsolescence, but they never put anything into the cars that would purposely kill you, and China should know better than this. There is no excuse for it. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.